Worth His Weight In Gold

Posted: December 23, 2011 by Windsor Zene in Band/Artist, News, Profiles


In Memory of David Gold

By Al “Yeti Bones” Petrovich

When I woke up this morning, I did my usual routine, like all of us. When I looked at my phone and saw texts upon texts I just ignored them. I checked my facebook and saw the most devastating news ever. A dear friend of mine had passed on to the other side. It feels like a sick and horrible joke, but I knew it had to be real.

Dave Gold was the single hardest working musician in Canada bar none. I couldn’t even begin to compete with this guy. Right before Woods of Ypres officially began, Dave was our drummer in Mister Bones. This is going back to 2001. He left Mister Bones to begin a black metal band called Woods Of Ypres. At the time, none of us had any idea how big it would be. Dave did.

I remember being on tour and Dave saying to me in a little diner in London Ontario, at 3am, “I think we should take Bones into another direction. Not kill off the stoner rock aspect but bring in a new aspect! We could be the first band to do stoner music with blast beats and a bit of black metal here and there, in bursts!”  Now I thought he was crazy, and I just couldn’t understand what he was saying to me. It sounded crazy right? His ideas were not being met in Bones, and we parted ways when we got home to Windsor. Within that year, Dave began Woods Of Ypres.

Fast forward 7 years later, I had this idea to do a heavy metal outfit that included all of my influences and inspirations throughout the years which included many bands that had been doing what Dave had been talking about previously with Bones. I knew that it would take some time to develop this band, and find the right members to do this. So I called Dave, and asked him to meet me in a rehearsal space back down in Windsor. He drove from Toronto that weekend, and we ripped through a 45 minute cassette of riffs and ideas. We traded riffs back and forth and just looked at each other and said, “Holy fuck, this is going to be pure evil!” That band I was forming, was The Georgian Skull.

We used to sit on the phone at night once in awhile, and I mean, like once every 8 months to a year and get drunk and talk about music for hours, talked about a certain side project we were planning on putting together with Morgan Lander from Kittie included in there. It was going to be an amazingly super heavy album simply called WINTERBEARD.  Now it breaks my heart that I will never see my friend again, and be able to get closure with him musically. He did an interview with someone from Germany a few years ago, and they asked him, “What was it like to work with Al the Yeti Bones?” And he replied, “Al is like me, and two people that are that similar shouldn’t work together.” The interviewer went on to say, “People have been quoted as calling The Yeti a Nazi or a dictator in his bands.” Dave agreed with him and simply said, “It takes one to know one.” Of course they both meant it in jest. The same magazine interviewed me again, later the following year (and previously to this encounter I had spoken to Dave and he told me all about his interview with the guy and that he had an idea.) He said we should openly bash each other in interviews so that when we release WINTERBEARD the world can fall on their ass and say, “What the fuck? I thought these guys hated each other?”   If anyone knows my history in the music scene and if they knew how much I loved controversy and stirring up shit, they would know that I thought this was just brilliant.
He used to always say, “Why don’t you just go back to being Mister Bones?  You’ve branded yourself as that for so many years that people will get confused if you keep changing band names.” I would tell him, “Dave, I’m the Yeti, I’m not Mister Bones. Like Woods, Bones had a million band members and I felt as though with each wave of Mister Bones, I was losing a bit of myself.” I needed to do it my way, as Frank Sinatra said. But with Dave, as members came and then went, it was like Woods Of Ypres was shedding skin, and becoming new all over again. It was just another chapter in the life and times of David Gold.

I remember Dave saying that he bought the Georgian Skull album when it came out on Entertainment ONE, and wanted to congratulate me on how “awesomely crushing it was!” He said it reminded him of a raw underground Pantera, and he loved it. I didn’t have the balls to tell him how honored I was to hear him say that, because of all the successes he had been receiving worldwide with Woods at the time.

Dave had a vision that he polarized through his music, and slowly I became aware of the deep and emotional connection he had to this earth, to the people on it, and his ideas of penning them down on paper, and eventually on an album.

"Dave had a clear-cut vision of what he wanted. Most people have no idea what they want, but he did. And he knew how to get it."

I understood Dave pretty well, I think. If anyone knows the stories behind him and I working together in music, they know we were extremely similar. Deep down, we both knew it too. We couldn’t be in the same band, because we were both visionaries and had two very different visions in mind. We’ve known each other for a long time, and I’ve gone through a lot of the same shit he has. What I can say is this, Dave had a clear-cut vision of what he wanted. Most people have no idea what they want, but he did. And he knew how to get it. Always had. When the vision starts to shift or differ slightly it was up to Dave to bring it back on track. No one else. This onus had always been on him. I related to that very much. It was Dave’s vision being seen through, as it should be. (Please forgive me, as I’m writing this, I’m finding it terribly hard to write my opinions and thoughts in past tense.) Afterall, it was the vision that had been seen from the beginning, and it was OBVIOUSLY working.
Dave had a lot of success backing him, and no doubt in my mind Woods Of Ypres was going to blow up soon. Just this past year he had been signed to Earache Records, and on January 31st they will release his latest masterpiece, and ultimately the final installment of Woods Of Ypres.

The thing that many people don’t understand about touring is that to be out there for us was normal. It is normal to me, and it was normal to Dave. What wasn’t normal was being back at home, waking up at 6am, going to work at a job you hated, and living the same life everyone else was. Why? Because to a musician, everyday life was standing between us and our goals and that’s not living. It’s dying, slowly. Most bands don’t get to do what we do, because they have locked themselves inside the death chamber of life, which unravels a very slow death. Dave was living his life. He was taken too soon, and this was a brother, not just of mine, but of every musician and person he came in contact with. I owe Dave a lot. Like, I owe the guy so much. Big time.

"He will be missed, and his music, I'm PROUD to say, will live on forever."

No words could ever describe how sorry I am for his family and how sorry I am for anyone that had the pleasure of knowing him. I am deeply sorry to his past and present band mates, including one of my dearest friends Aaron Palmer who was the bassist for Woods of Ypres during its conception. This is very surreal for me, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t in tears as I write this. The world has lost an extremely talented individual that was wise beyond his years. The man may have been living in a 31-year-old body, but I believe he has died of old age. He was far more wise than his age portrayed him. Life will be different without him. As the year of the “apocalypse” approaches I suppose it’s fitting that God takes away one of the greats. Too sudden. Man, way too fucking sudden. All life really is, is a chance for us to do amazing things while we’re here. Dave Gold can honestly without a doubt stand at the gates of Heaven and say to St. Peter, “I fucking did amazing things in life, now let me in.” Life is just a portal from birth to death, and Dave was taken before he got to see what his labour of love achieved in this life. He will be missed, and his music, I’m PROUD to say, will live on forever.

Cheers.  This drink is on me my friend.  I love you, and will miss you.
(a.k.a Alex Petrovich)


  1. Robin says:

    A fitting tribute to our friend. Well done Al.

  2. Mark Arruda says:

    well said Yeti!!!!
    RIP David Gold

  3. Not-So-Handy Andy says:

    A fitting memorial. Thank you for writing this, it helps. David was truly a great man.

  4. Ugh…heartbreaking.

  5. Craig Newman says:

    Well Said

    Rest In Peace David Gold

  6. P.W. Bear says:

    That was beautiful. Thank You Yeti!

    Rest in Peace and Thank You David

  7. Scump says:

    Absolutely brilliantly written. Nice job bro. RIP David Gold.

  8. Jx says:

    Devastated by the news…

  9. Esther Gold says:

    I love you for writing this. I love you for loving my son as your friend.
    Sorry for your loss too,
    Love you, David’s Mom

  10. LL says:

    This is terrible news and my heart hurts reading this. To the Gold family, I’m deeply sorry for your loss. He was an inspiration to many.

  11. Dawn says:

    Wow, that is terrible news but you’ve honored him with a heartfelt well written goodbye. My sympathies to the Family…

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